Sales of LG Stylus 3 started in the spring of 2017. The device is found at a price of 233 USD and 250 USD. The main distinguishing features of this smartphone is a rather large screen (5.7 “) and support for the stylus. At first glance, this is a potential candidate for the role of a budget replacement for the Samsung series of Note. Is this really so? Let’s try to find out in this review.
In certain regions, a smartphone can be known as LG Stylo 3 or LG K10 Pro. In addition, there are its variations, differing in the processor, frequency bands 4G and the amount of RAM.
Despite the fact that the dimensions are not the most compact (79.8 mm wide, 155.6 mm in height), the phallet lies very well in the hand. Its plastic body is rather thin (7.4 mm), not slippery, and the edges are slightly rounded for a comfortable grip. Weight is 149 grams.
At the top of the screen near the camera and sensors is a red LED bulb. In the settings, you can choose under what conditions the notification light will work. There are no navigation touch buttons on the case – they are displayed in the interface. You can change the onscreen buttons at your own discretion, but this panel will not work with regular tools.
The back cover and the battery are removable, under the cover there are separate slots for two Nano-SIMs and a MicroSD memory card. The fingerprint reader is mounted in the power button, which is located under the camera unit. The sensor is triggered accurately (just one touch), the unlocking speed is acceptable.
When the front camera starts, a single touch to the scanner will replace the pressing of the shutter button. And with the help of double-tapping you can make a screenshot.
The hardware volume buttons are on the left side.
The hole for the additional microphone for noise reduction can be found on the upper edge.
At the bottom there is a MicroUSB connector (with OTG support), a microphone and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
Inside the side of the case is a niche in which the stylus is located.
The hook-shaped “cap” of the pen serves as a disguise, because it repeats the design and shape of the side frame.
Compared to the predecessor (LG Stylus 2), the diameter of the stylus tip was reduced to 1.8 mm, in order to achieve more accurate input. The force of pressing does not affect the thickness of the line when writing notes. But the slope is recognized, which gives an extra room for creativity to lovers of calligraphic writing letters.
The stylus is light and thin, but because of its cylindrical shape it seems less comfortable than the pen from SG Note (since the third generation). And in general, its functionality is inferior to S-Pen.
For example, there is no physical button on the “handle” body, and hence the functions it performs are also inaccessible. The pen can not be used as an alternative to the cursor for previewing content without touching the touchscreen. And in the process of drawing the first time does not leave the feeling that the accuracy of the input does not reach the level of the Samsung Note line. But all this is not critical, you can get used to it.
PS: Other features of working with the pen will be disclosed in the following sections of this review.
LG does not change its principles: a smartphone costing around $ 250 installs an entry-level chipset designed for budget devices. This is a 64-bit MediaTek MT6750, which consists of 8 cores Cortex-A53 (4 to 1.5 GHz and another 4 to 1 GHz). “Partner” processor in the face of the video chip Mali-T860 MP2 also has a fairly modest performance. Indicators in synthetic benchmarks are appropriate: approximately 38 thousand points in AnTuTu.
If you close your eyes to the cost, then not everything is so bad. The interface of the system works quite smoothly, and if you run several applications at once, the smartphone does not slow down. The stock of performance is sufficient for resource-intensive 3D games. Let them run with optimized graphics, but still, the device copes with the task. With serious and long loads, there are no problems with heating.
The smartphone is equipped with 2 GB of RAM. But the version of M400DK is more interesting due to the support of 3 GB of RAM.True, we do not find it on sale, as it is intended for the Indian market. But also with what is available, “you can live”: there is no significant shortage in free RAM.
Of the 16 GB of internal storage for storing programs and personal files, 9.29 GB is available. Nevertheless, in 2017 could install a more “solid” drive. I’m glad that the slot for the external drive is separate, plus the installation of MicroSD flash drives with a giant capacity (up to 2 TB).
Fortunately, here LG did not greedy, installing a battery with a capacity of 3200 mAh. With a full battery, in a mode of moderately intensive operation, about 60% of the charge is consumed per day. That is, using the device in the normal mode (without loading games and watching videos for a long time), you can expect about 2 light days of battery life. Well, if you do not deny yourself anything, the charge will just be enough from morning till evening.
Nevertheless, when you run demanding system resources of games, the charge goes off as intensively as on most other smartphones.Quick charging technology is not provided. Using the supplied power adapter (5V 1.2A), the unit is charged from 0 to 100% for 2 hours and 40 minutes.
The main camera is a 13-megapixel sensor (whose manufacturer is not yet known), with an aperture of F2.2. There is an auto focus, a single-shot flash. The camera interface is simple and concise, with a minimum of settings. Available modes are Auto, Panorama and HDR. Video recording capabilities are modest: the resolution of the video is 1920×1080, with a frame rate of 30 FPS, without any stabilization.
The quality of shooting in this smartphone is directly related to the level of lighting. For example, in the daytime on the street in sunny weather, you can achieve a completely acceptable result. And if in the room to provide a level of illumination close to the studio, then the camera will show itself from the best side during the subject survey. But already in cloudy weather, street cadres will suffer from a lack of sharpness. Also, few will be pleased with the result obtained with low artificial illumination.
In such conditions, you can not do without a tripod: the focus is very slow, the frames turn out to be blurry with the slightest movement. Therefore, the camera can be safely considered the weak side of this smartphone, especially, given its cost. However, not everyone pays so much attention to this moment. There is a category of people who have enough of this camera’s capacity to fix the daytime landscape (subject, person, event, text, etc.).
Therefore, everyone can independently evaluate the quality of the received photos on the main camera of the smartphone LG Stylus 3 with the help of test frames.
The front camera (8 MP) is capable of doing “autoself”: when a face is detected within a few seconds, a picture will automatically be taken. The focus is fixed, even in the daytime the shots are not very sharp and slightly blurred.
Touch panel with a diagonal of 5.7 “is made using In-cell Touch technology. This is necessary to improve the behavior of the touchscreen when typing with a pen. At the same time, the sensor responds very clearly to finger touches. A 10-position multitouch is supported. The display is covered with a wear-resistant glass, the manufacturer of which is not advertised. Judging the quality of the glass is difficult, however, if you do not use a nail instead of a stylus, scratches by themselves will not appear.
With HD resolution (720×1280), the pixel density is 258 PPI. If you look closely, individual points are noticeable, especially when compared to a 2K-screen from SG Note 4. In everyday work, this does not interfere at all, pixelation strikes the eye except in the textures of strategic games, when zooming the picture. But for VR such a resolution just does not work. In the sun, the screen remains readable, if you unscrew the brightness to full. Color rendition is natural, the picture is not distorted when viewed at angles (a good IPS matrix is used).
LG Stylus 3 is designed for installation of 2 SIM cards in Nano format, capable of working in 2G, 3G and 4G networks (B3 / B7 / B20).The list of wireless networks includes a single-band module Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n and Bluetooth 4.2. Among all the navigation systems, the manufacturer stated support for GPS (with A-GPS technology), but in fact the smartphone works fine with GLONASS.Without an active Internet connection very quickly connects to satellites, almost instantly determines the current location. And the presence of a digital compass simplifies the orientation of the terrain.
The location of the multimedia speaker is good – on the back of the case. You will not block the sound by holding the smartphone in a horizontal orientation. But the volume margin is normal, when playing a melody call distortion and wheezing is not audible. The sound does not cut the rumor, since the high frequencies are not overstated, and the averages are fairly well expressed. With a conversational speaker, too, no problems, the interlocutor heard loudly and distinctly. The noise-canceling system does a good job of its work: even in windy weather, the interlocutor will be able to disassemble the speech of the owner of LG Stylus 3.
The product went to a fresh, but 32-bit version of the OS – Android 7.0 (Nougat). The standard interface of the system is replaced by a laconic, but pleasant in appearance, branded shell from LG. It introduces some additional settings, but the system is not overloaded, like MIUI. Nowhere is LG’s proprietary chip, which allows controlling the display lock with a double tap. But the main thing is the advanced Pen Pop 2.0 software (details are slightly lower).
The key principles of interaction of LG Stylus 3 with the pen in many respects coincide with what Samsung has honed on several generations of Galaxy Note. The removal of the stylus is accompanied by a certain response of the device: vibration, sound notifications, launch of the specified tools for working with the “wand for drawing.” The behavior is customizable, until the gadget’s reaction to the pen is turned off.
When you remove the stylus, a menu pops up on the screen for quick access to the main activities. Tiles with the latest handwritten notes / drawings are immediately displayed.
Screen-Off Memo technology allows you to create notes without first unlocking the screen. We just get a “virtual pen”, and write. In this mode, an eraser is available (if you need to erase an extra), a button for saving a note or saving it.
The Pen Keeper function takes care of those who are not yet accustomed to the stylus, and forever forget it somewhere. With the help of vibration, sound and pop-up notification on the display, the smartphone will report the absence of its companion. To access notes and work with them, you do not need to minimize the active application. Also in OS the simple editor of images, calculated work with a feather is built in.
Compare this device with models without the support of the stylus – sacrilege. But the irony is that suitable options, comparable in price, released a long time ago and removed from sale. For now, in some online stores, you can find LG Stylus II K520, priced from 219 USD. Its characteristics are almost identical with Stylus 3, except for the amount of RAM (1.5 GB) and the availability of NFC. In other words, at the moment there are no actual proposals that could make real competition to this device in its price category.
Pampering for the sake of LG Stylus 3 can also be used for drawing, but designers and artists need tools of a different level. It is more advisable to use this smartphone to record ideas, create handwritten notes, some sketches. For merchandisers, commodity experts, storekeepers and anyone who works with spreadsheets and databases on the mobile. Devices, it’s hard to come up with a more convenient control option than a stylus.
Summarizing the review, we can summarize: this product can well claim the role of a convenient and relatively accessible electronic notebook. Strongly simplified version of Galaxy Note 5, for those who do not like the cost of the latter, as well as a glass case, non-separable design and a non-removable battery. And still, if there is no desire to buy second-hand SG Note 3-4 generations for some reason. The stylus is not necessary for everyone, but those who see the potential in its use will appreciate this device.